Eriskay, a small island in the Outer Hebrides off the coast of Scotland, isn’t one of the world’s big tourist destinations. There are no museums or art galleries, no ancient ruins or busy markets. But it has something that you will love: absolute peace and quiet. And an awesome soccer pitch.
If you stay in a cottage, you’ll be visiting the Eriskay Shop every day. Here you can have a nice cuppa and order an Eriskay jersey. These were first made for fishermen, and their complicated patterns and dense wool are perfect for cold and rainy weather. Sadly, few people know how to knit them, so the waiting list is months long.
Climb the hill behind the shop for a panoramic view of the island. Or go west for a romantic windswept stroll along the beach. Here you’ll find rock pools among long stretches of smooth white sand.
Walk south and you’ll find yourself at a football pitch with an amazing view of the North Atlantic. Despite being “well bumpy,” according to the manager of the Eriskay Football Club, it was filmed along with seven other pitches to launch the FIFA World Football Museum in 2016.
Nature lovers and hikers will love it here. But be prepared for the loud calls of the corncrakes, and watch out for otters. The many Eriskay ponies are truly a sight to behold. This breed of ponies has lived here since the times of the Celts, and has a warm waterproof coat to cope with the cold. It is quite friendly to humans.
Eriskay is also a great base to explore other islands in the Outer Hebrides, but I’ll leave that for another time. (T)